Elder/Leader Elections

Today is an important day in the life of the Hoppers Crossing Uniting Church as we vote in new Elders. There is some confusion as to the role of Elders following the 1997 decision to merge the Elders Council with the Church Council to form one Council of the congregation that is, the Church Council, for the oversight of a congregation.

Consequently:
The move to one Church Council following the Eighth Assembly (1997) means that the Church Council now undertakes the responsibilities of the previous Council of Elders (notably pastoral care, nurture, education and worship) as well as caring for finance and property (A Fresh Look At Elders In The Uniting Church).

A snippet, edited in part, of what the current Regulations outline as to some of its roles:

(a) The Church Council shall give priority in its life to building up the Congregation in faith and love, sustaining members in hope, and leading the Congregation to a fuller participation in Christ ‘s mission in the world. This priority shall be reflected in the agenda of its ordinary meetings.

(b) The responsibilities of the Church Council include:

(i) sharing with the Minister(s) in mission and in the pastoral care and spiritual oversight of the Congregation;

(ii) nurturing the members and adherents in their growth in grace;

(iv) assisting the Minister(s) in the conduct of worship and in the administration of the sacraments;

https://assembly.uca.org.au/images/resources/Regulations_Policies/2015-Regulations-updated-April-2017.pdf
It doesn’t help that the current Regulations “are not easy to interpret when it comes to how Elders are appointed and on what basis it is decided which Elders are on the Church Council and what way the other Elders relate to each other.” (A Fresh Look At Elders In The Uniting Church).

As stated at the outset about the confusion around the role of Elders, I direct you to the following link where you can read more on this: https://assembly.uca.org.au/resources/key-papers-reports/item/1552-a-fresh-look-at-elders-in-the-uniting-church

Whatever the confusion that currently exists around the role of Elders in the UCA it doesn’t diminish the fact that the Hoppers Crossing UCA needs people, such as yourselves, to step up to the wicket and take on leadership roles to help it function properly and effectively to carry out the ministry and mission of Christ in the world.

We are grateful to God, for the people who will stand for election today. They each come with a wealth of gifts and grace’s as also a diversity of experiences to the role, and, maybe some trepidation as well, as to what the responsibilities of the role may entail. This is only natural and I’m certain that over time they will gain greater confidence as they settle into their new roles. I exhort each of you to pray without ceasing for each of them, the Elders/Church Council as well as the Hoppers Crossing UCA. Finally, I conclude with a challenge, that you would prayerfully consider how you might offer yourself to be involved in the life and witness of this congregation you call, home.

Because of Jesus.

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